Allright my first thrash metal review at GRIMM! And not the least too… Lethal Injury slamdances all the way from Oostende (‘t zeetje) Belgium through the hairy, beerdrenched, old school yet new school thrash void, or at least what’s left of it. They released their first four-track demo independently in 2015, back then with another drummer called Nicholas. He was also drummer with the hardcore/punk formation DRS, it’s a band worth mentioning, so seriously: check them out! And now with their new drummer who is present since 2017 they released Melancholia through the Italian label WormHoleDeath Records. The line-up now is : Rambo Exodus (lead vocals), Josha (bass), Jonjo Hardy (guitars), Dennis (guitars – also known from Bloodrocuted) and Arthur (drums – also known from Nocardia). I’ve seen the band perform live a couple of times and also had the honours of thrashing the same stage on a benefit party for Hammerhead and Speedqueen. A firm bunch when they perform, the vocalist has this ‘shut the fuck up and listen to ME!’ kind of attitude, it’s very convincing, and they all know very well how to handle their instrument. Go check ‘em out and see for yourselves goddamned!
Anyway, the reason I’m so excited about this particular review is because thrash metal has always been a big part of my life, and especially Belgian thrash. The years 2005 to 2010, man I can remember it like it was yesterday. Being a thrasher was very addictive, sewing patches on sleeveless denim jackets, wearing skinny ripped up jeans, bulletbelts and dirty-ass white sneakers, I was totally dedicated to it. THRASH TIL’ DEATH!! Almost everyone of my friends had a band, which we would go see every weekend off course! Illumination, Indemnity, Drunk, Alcoholic Nightmare, Evil Invaders (back then still playing squats and small venues haha), it truly was a golden age. However we have to face the fact that the “thrash-revival” from those days seem to have been long forgotten. Lots of those people/bands went on doing different things/genres, or just simply grew out of it. But not Lethal Injury, no no… they are doing juuuuust fine!
Though I wouldn’t describe them as your typical thrash band, they really have their own sound. I hear some hardcore in there, some heavy metal and even some black metal parts, it’s clear these guys know what they are doing, they can pull off pretty much everything. But I have to say I really needed some time to get used to the vocals on this album. Don’t get me wrong: I had the same thing with King Diamond back in the days and now I couldn’t live without it. It’s definitely not that I didn’t like them…but Rambo Exodus has this very specific way of screaming, it sounds like a mixture between Bobby Blitz from Overkill and Steve Souza from Exodus, but more aggressive and on speed. To me at first it sounded like a furious outrageous gremlin, but like I said with the King Diamond bit, after a couple of songs I couldn’t picture the band without it. And I really like the fact that he pronounces his words very well, extremely violently, but very clear…
Melancholia starts off with a marching instrumental intro, just to build up the atmosphere… and then there’s Mothman. Very hard and rhythmic thrashing riffs and short drum passages counting down that typical rapid thrash annihilation, I’m loving it already. Surprising is the “breakdown” in the middle of the song, and the Slayer-like “EEEEEEYYYYYEEEESSSSSSS” (or at least I believe that is what the word is haha) gets my nipples so hard they can cut through glass! Next one is the title-track which starts with some sweet black metal-like drum and guitar work, Lethal Injury if you guys are reading this: keep on using this, it fits your style very well and it gives me that Exhumed feel from the Anatomy Is Destiny album. One heavy band that does different styles of heavy sounds but still remains faithful to one main, in this case THRASH!
Next in line: Denounce is also a nice thrasher that will make you want to go full Indian in the pit. Which bring me to Suicidal Call, probably my favorite song on this album. This one is a real hard-hitter! And I am dead sure that it would hit the crowd like a wrecking ball on their shows! Scream, Burn, Die has a very nice and catchy vocal line, and like I said before the lyrics are very well pronounced, it’s very nice listening to. After The Downward Spiral there is a suiting instrumental track to build up the intensity of the final track Veiled Woman Of The Black. This is also one of my faves on the album. Really nice thrash song, very well put together with again some black parts in it! Killer! Overall this is a very promising band and a fantastic debut full-length Lethal Injury should be very proud of. They seem very committed and ready to strike all kinds of stages. Literally any thrasher (with a bit of an open mind for other heavy genres) will feel like a kid in a candy store, it will not disappoint you!! Keep up the good work champs, and you, yes YOU!(reader) BUY OR DIE!!
Release date: September 28th, 2018
Label: WormHoleDeath Records
1. Haima (Instrumental)
5. Suicidal Call
7. The Downward Spiral
8. Melancholia part II (Instrumental)
9. Veiled Woman of the Black